Mark was born in Glasgow in 1985 and has always resided in Kilsyth. He attended St Patrick’s Primary School and then St Maurice’s High School in Cumbernauld.
Mark studied Mechanical Engineering at the University of Strathclyde, graduating with a BEng (Hons) degree in 2007. During his time at university, and for a number of years after it, Mark served in the British Army, as a soldier with the TA. He has also worked as an engineer in Northern Ireland.
In 2008 Mark was elected to North Lanarkshire Council, representing the people of the Kilsyth Ward. Until 2011, Mark served as Vice Convenor of the Council’s Planning and Transportation Committee.
Mark was elected to the Scottish Parliament in May 2011, as a Labour MSP representing the Central Scotland region. Upon his election at the age of 25, Mark is the youngest MSP in the history of the Scottish Parliament.
He served as the Labour Party's Shadow Minister for Sport and as a Deputy Whip from 2011 to 2013, then as Shadow Minister for Transport and Veterans until December 2014. He is currently Scottish Labour's Opportunities Spokesperson, covering schools, learning, science and Scotland's languages.
Mark is also Deputy Convenor of the Scottish Parliament's Education and Culture Committee, and a member of the Cross-Party Groups on Deafness and Industrial Communities. Since his election, Mark has championed Deaf issues and was successful in steering his British Sign Language (BSL) (Scotland) Bill through Parliament in 2015.Mark is married to Stephanie and in his spare time enjoys playing and watching football, attending concerts and keeping fit.